Introduction 

While CBD tends to be associated with millennials and younger generations, it is beneficial for anyone and any age! CBD comes with a ton of benefits, as well as certain benefits catered to seniors. In the last few years, CBD has sparked a massive alteration in the health and wellness communities as people everywhere are finding natural relief for their health conditions. As you’ve probably noticed, the market for CBD has increased immensely and has even expanded to older communities. In fact, up to nine percent of seniors reported using CBD for health-related problems and approximately fifty percent of all users have reported an increased quality of life after taking it. Learning about how CBD benefits lives may better the life of a loved one or yourself so keep reading to learn more about CBD and if it can improve your life! 

Background 

First off, CBD won’t get you high like THC does. In fact, CBD is all about being healthy and positively affects the human endocannabinoid system! CBD is the portion of the hemp strand that doesn’t get you high and actually has tons of medical benefits. While some CBD oils can have minimal trace amounts of THC, it’s nowhere near enough to get you buzzing, raiding your pantry for munchies, or feeling a “high” at all.

CBD is a compound found in the cannabis plant. It was popularly decriminalized by a young girl named Charlotte Figi who suffered from three hundred epileptic seizures a week. After being treated with CBD, her seizures became very manageable and dwindled down to once a month. When the news was released, it brought the CBD movement to light.

Now, if you were trying to give your dog the munchies with CBD, well I’m sorry to disappoint. The compound called delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol (also known as THC or weed) is the compound that gets you high. Most CBD products have no THC in it but if it does, it has no more than 0.4% of THC.

There are many different ways to extract CBD from the cannabis plant and knowing how your CBD is extracted is just as important as knowing what’s in the salad you order! The first kind of extraction we will discuss is extraction using carbon dioxide. This system takes advantage of CO²’s unique properties that let it function in solid, liquid, and gas states of matter. Closed-loop extractors are most commonly used for this process. CO² extraction starts with a solid piece of CO² that gets pumped into a second chamber containing cannabis material. The chamber is kept at such a pressure that the CO² stays in a liquid-like state and absorbs the oils and flavors of the plant. After this, the CO²-cannabinoid mixture gets pumped into a third chamber where the CO² is allowed to return to a gas state, leaving behind the oil and flavors from the plants.

Liquid solvents is another method used to extract CBD and is the process of substances that are more naturally in a liquid state, such as ethanol, butane, hexane, or isopropyl alcohol. This process works very similarly to the carbon dioxide extraction process! One advantage to liquid solvent extracted products is that they are cheaper to make and therefore cheaper to buy. However, certain solvents may carry impurities and chlorophyll from the plant, which can give the oil a greenish tinge and a bitter taste.

While these are the two main methods of extraction, there are also other methods such as winterization and distillation. 

How it Works in the Body 

All cannabinoids produce effects in the body by interacting with cannabinoid receptors, which form part of the endocannabinoid system. The endocannabinoid system is a biological system composed of endocannabinoids, endogenous lipid-based retrograde neurotransmitters that bind to cannabinoid receptors, and cannabinoid receptor proteins which are expressed throughout the vertebrate central nervous system and peripheral nervous system.

In order to understand the endocannabinoid system, it’s also important to take note of the key biological concept of “homeostasis.” Homeostasis can be simply described as our body’s working towards perfection. It can also be described as any process or reaction that the body utilizes to actively maintain a stable internal environment. In many cases, these functions geared towards maintaining balance are necessary for any organism to survive. Agitations to physiological equilibrium, if uncorrected, can lead to impaired health, with symptoms that range from headaches to more serious diseases like arthritis, epilepsy, stroke, obesity, Alzheimer’s disease, cancer, and glaucoma.

The human body produces two receptors: CB1 and CB2. CB1 receptors are present throughout the entire body, particularly in the brain and they coordinate movement, pain, emotion, mood, thinking, appetite, memories, and other functions. CB2 receptors on the other hand are more common in the immune system and affect inflammation and pain. THC attaches to CB1 receptors but CBD stimulates the receptors so that the body produces its own cannabinoids, a process known as endocannabinoids.

The Endocannabinoid System, named after the plant that led to its discovery, is perhaps the most important physiological system involved in establishing and maintaining human health. Additionally, Endocannabinoids are some of the most versatile and widespread molecules. The Endocannabinoid System plays a major role in balancing many important functions and luckily, isn’t unique to humans. Scientists have found that the ECS exists in any animal with a vertebra, including fish, reptiles, birds, and mammals. The discovery of the Endocannabinoid System within the body is relatively new. The system was discovered in the 90s when researchers set out to study a series of plant-like molecules produced by the human body. The human body produces cannabinoids known as endogenous cannabinoids. Examples of endogenous cannabinoids (endocannabinoids) include n-arachidonoyl dopamine (NADA), 2-arachidonoylglycerol (2-AG), anandamide, and virodhamine (OAE). 

What products to look for 

I’m going to be honest, CBD products are usually not cheap! It is important that you buy the right product for yourself so ultimately, you get what you pay for. A 1-ounce (or 30-milliliter) bottle of CBD oil can typically cost between $30 and $200.

As the market becomes more saturated, it is increasingly important for consumers to understand what to look for in a good CBD product and what to avoid. Unfortunately, until federal agencies determine final and enforceable regulations, the potential for mislabeled and poor-quality products is very high. However, plenty of companies voluntarily follow FDA standards and prohibit unverified claims on their labels.

Some things to look out for are words such as “treat” “cure,” and “prevent,” which can be red flags that a seller isn’t performing with integrity. Additionally, products claiming to contain hemp or hemp seed oil aren’t the same as hemp-derived CBD oil, and won’t necessarily contain any CBD. Cannabis-derived CBD oil is produced from cannabis plants that contain THC above 0.3%.

Now, let’s dive into some key indicators of quality CBD oil according to WeedMaps. It has been shown that the most reputable CBD brands include the following in their labels: amount of CBD as an active ingredient per serving Supplement Fact Panel, include the other ingredients, net weight, manufacturer or distributor name suggested use, full-spectrum, broad-spectrum, or isolate, and batch or date code. If an isolate is 99.9% CBD or more, it’s highly unlikely that it will have evident amounts of THC. Purity ranges of 99.5% or lower may still have trace levels of THC. Avoiding trace amounts of THC may be important for you for reasons such as personal preference, or as a precaution against failing a drug test. If using CBD to treat inflammation, it may be helpful to note that a 2015 study showed that CBD oil with low THC may be more effective in treating inflammation than a CBD isolate.

Hemp-derived CBD oil is now poised to overtake olive oil in the category of most counterfeited plant extract on the planet, making authenticity a prime concern for older consumers. Random samplings of CBD products consistently detect misrepresentation between their labels and their contents. In some cases, the nominal cannabinoid is entirely absent, in others, more nefarious substances have been found.

Another thing to keep in mind is if the brand you are buying from has their products tested by a 3rd party lab. If it has been tested, then lab reports for that product should be readily available somewhere on the company’s website. Just like there are shady companies, there are also shady laboratories that don’t follow proper procedures to ensure accuracy in their reports! The way you can tell if it is reputable is to make sure that they are accredited in accordance with the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). If they are accredited by the ISO this means that the lab meets certain standards and operates under certain guidelines. Make sure to keep all of these things in mind when making your next CBD purchase. 

Benefits for Seniors 

So, let us dive into the many benefits involved with CBD and how it can help seniors. Are you dealing with an aching back and painful joints? If so, CBD may be what you need! Rather than relying on pharmaceutical pain relievers which can have adverse side effects, more seniors are now opting for natural alternatives including CBD to manage this pain.

Some early evidence has even insinuated that CBD oil can help to promote bone healing and the preservation of healthy bones, something that decreases as you age. If this decrease goes on unchecked, it can result in diseases like osteoporosis and bone fractures- Yay to bone health!

Another thing that seniors can turn to CBD for is depression and anxiety. Seniors tend to be more satisfied with their lives than younger individuals. However, specific life changes such as the death of a family member, retirement, or chronic health conditions can cause depression, stress, and anxiety. (I mean they are in their golden age, right? Or is that Golden Girls? Whatever.) CBD is believed to impact serotonin signals which are neurotransmitters that have the responsibility of maintaining your mental health. Lower levels of serotonin have been linked to depression and anxiety.

While sleeping disorders, like insomnia, are a condition suffered by individuals of every age, they are very common in seniors. This is caused by the shift in sleeping patterns as one gets older, along with the chemical imbalance caused by medical conditions and prescription medication. Conditions that prevent sleep are extremely harmful to seniors because sleep is the period of time where our body flushes out toxins and restores itself.

While society’s first solution to health concerns is to prescribe medication (which may provide temporary relief for that condition), it often requires gradually increasing dosages that lead to further damage to the body and creates a dependency on medication. By the time we figure out how damaging this is for our body, it’s sadly too late and our body has already become fully reliant on that medication.

With seniors suffering from a wide range of health conditions, you can bet they’ve been prescribed all kinds of medications. As they continue to rely on medication to alleviate their conditions, they ultimately develop a dependency. Studies have shown that CBD can not only alleviate conditions that often involve harmful medication, but it can also help combat the dependency that was developed from that medication. While we all deal with mood swings, as we start to experience the major changes associated with getting older―like the decline of health, disabilities, or the loss of a loved one―these mood swings can often become greatly intensified and lead to major health problems. These health problems can come with a high chance of the individual developing a mental illness if they feel that they are disconnected, neglected, isolated, or lonely. Luckily, CBD may help alleviate this condition! 

Side Effects 

A few side effects following seniors taking CBD are changes in weight, diarrhea, fatigue, and changes in appetite. Before taking CBD, check in with a doctor to make sure it is right for you. If your medications come with a grapefruit warning, you may not be able to use CBD, as it can interfere with some enzymes that help metabolize drugs. 

What Kind of CBD Products May be Right for Seniors 

The kind of CBD products that are right for seniors will depend on what they’re looking to achieve and personal preference. While creams and lotions may be preferred for people trying to ease joint pain, oils and tinctures are faster acting than pills and may be ideal for anxiety or side effects from cancer treatment. Edibles on the other hand, which are often in the form of gummies, are portable and can be more discrete.

The next thing you want to research is third-party testing. Again, reputable CBD companies will seek out and publicize third-party testing to show that their products are labeled accurately. Companies will list recommended dosages on their bottles or jars which helps you know what they believe is the right level for beginners. If it doesn’t contain dosage information however, it’s best to start at the lowest level- you can always increase it over time! Furthermore, always make sure to check on the legality of CBD in the state you live in. 

Testimonial 

When looking through information on CBD, I found a testimonial that really inspired me. It proves that if you take a leap, you can better your life or someone else’s. Sometimes we can forget that there are others that may be going through a similar situation as you. So, I thought it would be a good idea to share it with you all. Whatever situation you are in remember you aren’t alone and you are strong. The fact that you are reading this blog proves that you are willing to work to better your life or someone else’s! Just know that I’m proud of you and someone else is too. Hopefully this blog will help you decide to invest in CBD and start your journey towards advancing your wellness. This testimonial was written by Cyrus Sepahbodi, a writer who also has an interest in poetry. As stated by Cyrus Sepahbodi, “Osteoarthritis runs heavily in my family. My mother deals with pain in her hands, knees, and lower back every day. My grandmother spends most of her day lying down or seated because her knees are swollen to the point, she can barely stand for more than five minutes. Both feel the physical and emotional strain of day to day life because of their conditions. But it goes beyond the pain on most days. My mother and grandmother are proud women. They’ve both raised families, taken care of children, and worked accomplished careers. But to see them in the elder years fighting pain and not being able to do the simple tasks of life is heartbreaking. If you ask my grandmother about her pain, she would tell you, ‘I can’t cook anymore. I can’t help your mother around the house. Life with non-stop pain is hardly worth living.’…But recently, in the last six months, they have both turned to cannabis and hemp-derived medicines and remedies to combat their pain and reduce their need for opioids. The effects have been astounding. By using a CBD pain balm, my mother’s back pain has been reduced to the point where with regular use she can continue functioning normally at her job. My grandmother has started supplementing her medications with CBD & THC patches, capsules, and balm. The swelling in her knees has reduced and her need for the steroid patches has decreased to only twice per month.” 

Here is the link to the article: https://papaandbarkley.com/learn/cbd-for-seniors/

Visit https://www.navapouch.com to see how our CBD products can help seniors and you!